Covering my shame has never been so difficult
|May 16, 2012||Posted by Cameron MacLeod under satire|
I went clothes shopping recently. Voluntarily, in the sense that it was just marginally preferable to pneumonia and a prison sentence as a result of public nudity. This is typically a bi-annual event at best, so I tend to see changes in fashion as sudden events. What follows is an interpretation of what York’s main retailers of young men’s clothing had to offer.
The once-distinct boundary between the two gendered sections of clothes shops has become so seamlessly blurred that the average sensible man is now in danger of accidentally cross-dressing. Most clothes shops seem to have been annexed by the nauseatingly flamboyant and unappealing cast of Hollyoaks, and overwhelmingly saturated with their gaudy “retro” bullshit and arse-smothering chinos, which incidentally are equipped with gratuitously low crotches as a futile attempt to compensate for their overt femininity. The sweatshop slaves forced to stitch these humiliating catsuits under pain of starvation must assume that the male population of western Europe has devolved into sparsely scattered tribes of skeletal, sightless morons with incredibly swollen testes, which indeed it may yet do.
Worse still is the fact that people seem to modify items around this fetish of looking like a dickhead. The perplexing idea of wearing jeans, rubber trousers, opaque cellophane – or whatever it is these are made of – lower than a pair of hideous, overpriced boxer shorts in order to showcase just how much money you can be conned out of when attempting to provide basic coverage and insulation for your genitals has survived, despite said trousers or jeans acting as a second skin.
One tragedy that has pervaded both genders of teenager is the Jack Wills hoodie. I say the Jack Wills hoodie, but really I mean all of its forms. After all, it’s undergone a fairly radical style evolution over the years. Presumably the latter example is the cheaper of the two, seeing as 95% of the price comes from the insultingly unimaginative logo. I say insultingly, but really there are hundreds of thousands of teenagers who are in no way offended by the pricing and design of the product, owing largely to their failure to develop even the most remote understanding of false economy. Therein lies the tragedy.
Unfathomably, even suits have been bled of their taste, simplicity and refinement. Look at this page. Just look at it. A formal event is one of the few occasions where a man can look presentable without having to go to any discernable effort. In Topman at least, it is now a struggle to appear as anything other than a monstrous combination of Tony Montana and Dame Edna Everage. I can only conclude that quality control during the design process for these retailers is as discerning as Noo-Noo is when deciding what is Tubbymess and what is not. In this comparison, Tubbymess is a metaphor for clothing that isn’t awful, and the implication is that very little Tubbymess is ever designed or mass produced.
The last bastion where I don’t feel hopelessly out of place is the men’s section of Zara, which is something that I didn’t intend to reveal even under duress. Sadly most of the clothes are measured to fit the 30- to 50-year-olds that they appear to aim their products at, which suggests that following a couple of decades of self-imposed hermetical nakedness it should be relatively straightforward for me to order from a Next catalogue, or something similarly mundane, presuming that tacky, ridiculous, extortionate nonsense-clothing isn’t something that will stalk my generation until I’m lowered into the ground in my maroon, skin-tight coffin.